By Stacy Juba
Patriotic holidays are the perfect time to teach your kids about U.S. symbols such as the American flag. Many children have heard of Betsy Ross, but they can’t answer questions like these: What should you do with a worn out flag? What is the correct way to fold a flag? What is the proper time of day to fly the flag? Chances are, they haven’t learned these flag etiquette rules in school.
It’s always a good idea to teach kids about respect, and holidays like Flag Day, July 4th, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day are excellent opportunities to instill a sense of patriotism in your children.
Since my picture book The Flag Keeper teaches children about U.S. flag etiquette, I’ve done a lot of research on discussing patriotism with kids. Reading the book with your child is a great start as it includes an illustrated fiction story, a list of nitty gritty flag facts, and discussion questions, but there is so much more you can do.
Let’s start with flags around your house. Do you have an old, frazzled flag that’s no longer fit for display? Don’t throw it into the trash. Contact your local American Legion, Elks Lodge, or VFW post to see if they will properly dispose of it for you, and involve your child in this process. Contacting local experts ensures that your flag will be retired in a respectful manner by people who know what they’re doing. Explain to your child why you aren’t just tossing it in the trash and are going to this extra trouble.
You can also do fun patriotic crafts together. There are many suggestions online including patriotic pinwheels, painted red, white and blue rocks, and patriotic noisemakers. Have your child pick out some festive recipes to prepare. Online searches will reveal lots of ideas such as red, white, and blue Rice Krispie bars, fruit skewers, and flag cookies.
You could even have your child write letters or make cards for members of the military and send them to an organization like Operation Gratitude.
If you’d like, you can take my free 5-day Family Flag Challenge to get additional ideas. I’ve curated helpful kid-friendly resources from around the Internet including crafts, recipes, and
Here is more information about The Flag Keeper.
A lively patriotic book packed with information that all American children should know.
Elizabeth may be a little bear, but she treats the American flag with big respect. Elizabeth wakes up the American flag in the morning and puts it to bed at night. She acts as her father’s “flag keeper,” helping him with his daily tasks of raising the flag and retiring it for the evening. She soaks up the etiquette facts that Dad teaches her, including don’t leave the flag out in the dark without a spotlight.
When Dad leaves for a business trip, it frustrates Elizabeth that their flag will be stuck in a boring garage. Every flag she sees reminds her of her job as flag keeper, and Elizabeth grows determined to make her father proud.
This illustrated picture book is designed to teach children about U.S. flag etiquette through an educational fiction story. It includes discussion questions, flag facts, and an activity. The Flag Keeper is ideal for military families, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, classroom and library use, and for any parent or grandparent who wishes to teach a special child about American flag etiquette. It is a perfect complement to patriotic holidays such as Flag Day, the Fourth of July, Columbus Day and Veterans Day.
Recommended by directors of the National VFW Headquarters, National American Legion Headquarters, the Midwest Book Review, and Staten Island Family.
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-flag-keeper-larry-drumtra/1130034158?ean=9781453753057
It is also available as part of the Teddy Bear Town Children’s Bundle (available in ebook and Audible formats) https://stacyjuba.com/blog/book/teddy-bear-town-childrens-bundle/
Visit Stacy at https://stacyjuba.com/blog/